After months of speculation, the London Landmark hotel has confirmed that its flagship restaurant, John Burton-Race at the Landmark, has closed.
According to a spokesman for the five-star Marylebone hotel, the restaurant closed at the end of last year. Burton-Race, who is currently in France filming his forthcoming television programme for Channel 4, was unavailable for comment.
The two-Michelin-starred chef opened his 70-seat restaurant on 23 May 2000, having signed an agreement to rent the space from the hotel for five years.
But the spokesman said that Burton-Race is now living in France and concentrating on other activities. He's been commissioned to write a book to accompany his television series, due to be shown in the autumn.
Sources suggest that the restaurant has had a poor financial record. In August, Burton-Race told Caterer that the restaurant had suffered particularly badly following the events of 11 September. "I've never seen such an exodus from London," he said at the time. "I personally lost £86,000 of business in holiday cancellations." However, he added that he felt that "things were looking better".
Before moving to the Landmark, Burton-Race owned and operated L'Ortolan in Shinfield, Berkshire, for 13 years. The restaurant is currently owned by chef Alan Murchison. Although Burton-Race achieved critical acclaim at the provincial restaurant (gaining two Michelin stars and five AA rosettes), he felt that a London site would bring him closer to his client base and, ultimately, give him a steadier source of revenue.
In spite of retaining its two Michelin stars, Burton-Race received mixed reviews on opening at the Landmark.
The Landmark said it "had no plans" for the space occupied by Burton-Race, although it added that it would probably be used as an additional banqueting room in the short term.
Source: Caterer & Hotelkeeper magazine, 16-22 January 2003